In just two minutes, the bombastic 'Birds of Prey' trailer redeems the DCEU

"I'm Harley freaking' Quinn." Margot Robbie and a quartet of Gotham heroines shine in the first, and amazing, trailer for 'Birds of Prey.'

The DC film franchise has been on an upswing, with Aquaman and Shazam! both delivering fun, exciting experiences at the theater. But all that was prologue. Today, behold the legitimately incredible first trailer for Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), which alone might have salvaged the entire DCEU franchise in just two minutes.

On Tuesday, Warner Bros. released the trailer for Birds of Prey, a spin-off of 2016’s Suicide Squad that sees Margot Robbie back in the role of Harley Quinn.

Free from the Joker for yet unknown reasons, Harley teams up with a quartet of ass-kickers — Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), and Cassandra Cain/Orphan (Ella Jay Basco), and hard-boiled cop Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez) — to take down Richard Sionis (Ewan McGregor), who in the comics is the Batman supervillain, Black Mask.

There is so much personality in Birds of Prey, I don’t even know where to begin. Let’s start with Robbie, who bats a thousand as a liberated Harley Quinn freed from the whims of the Joker. You can tell Robbie’s Harley really thrives off her new friendship with these women. Her excitement — suggesting ordering a pizza and “make cosmos” — just leaps off the screen. Harley is a fun character, but finally, she’s actually fun to watch in a movie.

Birds of Prey Harley Quinn
The cast of 'Birds of Prey.' From right to left: Rosie Perez, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Margot Robbie, Ella Jay Basco, and Jurnee Smollett-Bell.

Then there’s the music, “Hymne A L’amour” by Edith Piaf, which is unlike the tired trend of movie trailers set to slow covers of pop songs. 

And then there’s the rest of the cast. While their characters are still blank slates (at least to those who haven’t read any of the Birds of Prey comics), there’s just so much infectious confidence and charisma radiating from all of them. I am picking up everything Birds of Prey is putting down.

There’s a notable history of DC movies putting out incredibly watchable trailers and delivering underwhelming results. To this day, I still think about the teaser to 2013’s Man of Steel and the transcendent superhero movie it promised, rather than the colorless 9/11 porn it delivered. Both trailers to 2016’s Suicide Squad also bursted with personality, but the final film was an incoherent jumble of scenes and extended Ben Affleck cameos that felt duct-taped together.

In 2019, there’s a lot to like in the DCEU. Affleck and Cavill were phenomenal leads who deserved to co-star in a better movie, the No Man’s Land scene in Wonder Woman is still moving, and both Aquaman and Shazam! were a one-two combo of whimsical fun that’s been missing in most major superhero movies.

But Birds of Prey is something else. Let’s hope that something is as fun as these two minutes.


Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) hits theaters on February 7, 2020.